European stocks scale all-time highs after Fed holds stance

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt May 25, 2020. — Reuters pic
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt May 25, 2020. — Reuters pic

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BERLIN, April 8 — European stocks hit record highs today as optimism grew around a global stimulus-fuelled economic rebound after the US Federal Reserve signalled that it was in no hurry to tighten its monetary policy.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3 per cent, according to Google Finance data, adding to gains notched earlier this week when the index erased all of its pandemic-driven losses.

Fed officials remain wary about the ongoing risks of the coronavirus pandemic and are committed to bolstering the economy until its recovery is more secure, minutes of the central bank’s latest policy meeting released on Wednesday showed.

“A dovish set of meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve has further reassured investors that Jay Powell and the gang won’t be turning off the stimulus taps any time soon,” Connor Campbell, an analyst at Spredex, wrote in a morning note.

Market participants will now turn their focus to the European Central Bank, which is expected to release its March meeting minutes at 1130 GMT.

Investors broadly looked past news that several European countries had announced restrictions on the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine in younger people, after a link was found to very rare blood clots.

The British drugmaker’s shares climbed 1.3 per cent.

Holland-based technology investor Prosus NV rose slightly after it sold 2 per cent of China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd for US$14.7 billion (RM60.7 billion) in the world’s largest-ever block trade.

Chemicals maker Johnson Matthey jumped almost 4 per cent after it forecast annual profit at the top end of market expectations and said it had started a strategic review of its health business. — Reuters